The true, budget exploding, high end, classy hand scraped floors are timeless. Hand scraped means different things to different people. What I will address here is how to use hook scrapers to texture the floor. The idea is not to make it look old or time worn; it is simply to create texture to the surface of the wood floor.
Some people love a scraped floor . Some people hate it. Regardless of your feelings, there is a fine line between a beautifully scraped floor and a floor that looks like an accident. This is not what we are trying to achieve here.
You can scrape your floor standing up before you install it (on a bench), or on your knees in place. If I need to scrape a floor before installation, I will do it while it is acclimating on site to save time. In that case I will build a bench on site. Setting up a temporary scraping bench requires a few things:
- It needs to be long and wide enough to accommodate for your plank size
- It also helps if it is tilted a little
- It must be sturdy
You will need to have a large number of hook-scrapers and planes. These professional grade hook scrapers go for between $150 and $350 each. You will need to know how to dress them and will need a lot of extra blades. Some people prepare all their scrapers at the beginning of each day. Once they start scraping, there is one person who is in charge of dressing those scraper blades. If you do the scraping alone or with another person, it is always nice taking a break to dress the scraper blades.
Scrape the entire face of each plank. In order to see where you have and haven’t scraped, you can stain the floor dark, or wipe the wood with a water-dampened cloth before scraping. I prefer water because it softens the wood fibers a little, so it is easier to scrape. Note that I said “easier,” not “easy!”
After hand scraping the floor, I run my buffer with two maroon pads on it to knock off the rough spots. Then, I hand-sand the floor. I use a 120-150 grit paper depending on the wood species.
I will write about finishing these floors in a separate post soon. One major thing to keep in mind: Scraping a floor is a truly hard, challenging task. There is no such thing as easy when you get a hand scrape job, so charge accordingly.
CR, CSF, CI, CWFI, VGD
Avi’s Hardwood Floors Inc.